The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit consists of 9 K-9 teams. All teams are patrol certified. Five of the teams are trained in narcotics detection, one cross-trained patrol dog and 4 single purpose canines. The single purpose dogs, 2 Labs, 1 Border Terrier, and 1 Golden Retriever, are all Rescue Dogs from area shelters. The Unit also has 2 Patrol Dogs cross-trained in ballistics detection. The primary responsibility of the unit is to ensure the integrity of the perimeter of the Plymouth County Correctional Facility. The Unit also assists with internal security, conducting periodic narcotics searches of housing units and acting as an integral part of the Facility Tactical Response Team, which is tasked with disorder management.
In addition to its Department responsibilities, the K-9 Unit provides assistance to all of the 27 communities in Plymouth County. The Unit responds to an average of 350 calls per year, assisting area police departments, and outside the County with its involvement with the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council and the Southeastern Mass. Law Enforcement Council. These call-outs range from missing persons, to armed robberies, burglaries, drug raids, and SWAT call-outs. Whenever police deem it advantageous, the Plymouth County K-9 Unit is readily available to provide this assistance. This aid is available to towns without their own K-9 and also to agencies with their own K-9 program when additional resources are needed.
The K-9 Unit also works closely with school resource officers and school administrators by organizing and conducting searches of the region’s high schools. In doing so, this program assists towns in ensuring their schools are a safe and drug-free environment. It also sends the message to students and parents that the police departments and school administrators take the problem of drugs in schools seriously.
The K-9 Training Division provides training for both the department animals and area K-9 Units. There are approximately 120 teams in the Plymouth County Training Group. Training ranges from Basic Patrol, Narcotics, and Ballistics Detection Academies for new handlers and K-9’s, to monthly in-service training.
NARCAN training for K9 application
The K-9 Unit also assists the communities by conducting K-9 demonstrations for schools and civic groups. The unit works with DARE Officers, schools, scouting groups, and other civic organizations to educate the public about the Plymouth County K-9 Unit, and how it serves their communities.